It was always going to come down to this. We are at the business end of the group stage, and Mexico’s only hope for a sure-place in the quarterfinals of the Men’s Olympic soccer tournament is with a win over group leaders South Korea.
No Oribe Peralta or Rodolfo Pizarro for Mexico. The pair has been deemed as unavailable for the rest of the tournament through injury, and coach Raul “Potro” Gutierrez has been forced to call up Pachuca defender Raul “Dedos” Lopez and Queretaro forward Carlos Fierro in their place. Before the tournament started, Mexico fans cast both Peralta and Pizarro as two of their most important players in their squad, and undoubtedly, their injuries will be a big blow to Potro Gutierrez’s side going forward.
The fact of the matter is only a win would put Mexico on a 100% path to the quarterfinals, and South Korea is not an easy team. The South Koreans currently lead group C after an 8-0 win over Fiji and a 3-3 draw with Germany. There is more than enough talent in their team, and ultimately, a point would be enough to see them through to the quarterfinals.
As such, Mexico can’t backpedal on this one. The defending gold medalists will need of all their trademark potential as they look to keep their Rio 2016 medal dreams alive.
Match date/time: Wednesday 3pm EST, 4pm local
Venue: Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, Brasília, Brazil
TV: Telemundo (US - Spanish), NBC Universo (US- Spanish), Claro Sports (Mexico)